Released July 16, 2019
I worshiped at the altar of pain, surviving on avoidance, physical to avoid the mental, anything to forget what I’d lost. When Remi walked through the door, I felt like I’d paid my price for the passage through hell and been granted a taste of Eden. Remi was my oasis and I was going to drown myself in him.
But life takes with no remorse and everything was a mirage. The past won’t stay dead and a cruel phantom comes to destroy our happiness. The more we need each other the further apart our lives drive us. I’m torn between my perfect past and the hope of an oasis, and either choice demands I cut out part of my soul.
“Scared of me?” he asked.
“Only of you leaving.”
He turned to cup upside down over my chest. The scalding water burned and spread and I slipped. I slipped and floated. My lips parted and I could feel my breath pass between them. I must have moaned, but I was too gone to hear anything. The only thing I felt were his tools on me. Hands, and crops, and maybe a flogger. I craved each touch like the whisper of a lover over my skin. His marks were love written on my skin.
I pulled against the bonds wanting to touch him. The crude rope bit into my wrists, and I didn’t care. I had to touch him. I had to get to him. I knew it was useless, but how many things in life do we do that we know in the end will be useless. I’d felt like that my entire relationship with him. I was chasing someone who would never see me the way I saw him. But he was the sun, and to stand in his light was better than to suffer in the dark for the rest of eternity.
“How easy you are.”
“Only for you.” I swore.
“Even more pathetic.”
“I am. I will be anything you want me to be.”
“I have no doubt of that.” He dragged his nails over the lightly blistered flesh and I cried out.
The pain lifted me and filled me, but not as much as his words. His words broke me, but also built me. I knew they were only for me. I knew he didn’t pay this attention to anyone else.
Then there was soft. A silk touch. His lips? I had to pry open my eyes and fight my way out of the space I was in to see how he kissed my hip. His fingers played over my collar bones, and when he looked me in the eyes, I saw something there I’d never seen before. Maybe he did return my feelings in his way. I lived and died in that one look.
I was forever his, whether he remained or left. Like I’d signed my life away in his eyes. I was his devout servant for eternity.
It was more than a physical release. Better than cumming could ever be.
4 of 5 Stars
Let me get the important stuff out of the way: this is NOT a standalone. You need to read Clouded Hell first; and if like me, you haven’t read Clouded Hell in 3 years, I’d re-read it if you can because I was a bit murky on the details. The author did a good job of reminding me of some details I’d forgotten but I would have felt better going through the whole story again before diving into this one.
I’m having a hard time writing this review without giving too much of the story away. There are a couple of big surprises in this book, and while we do get the HEA these guys have fought so hard for there were some things I didn’t like in getting there.
I went back and read my review of book one to see if I could remember how I felt about the characters after reading that book and I didn’t give any hints away there, so I’ll just give my opinions of them now after reading this book.
Of all the main characters, Dante is my favorite and I can say I actually like him. My heart felt heavy for him for several reasons. Remi I wanted to shake…hard…and maybe jar some sense into him. He frustrated me on so many levels and I still don’t know if I like him. While Kai did come through for Remi a couple of times, I have found no redeeming qualities in this man. I did not like what Kyle…became…for Kai…AT ALL, and I don’t know which of them to blame for it. I had a hard time forming an unbiased opinion of him after witnessing that. We meet a new character who I also do not like and lump in with these two men which leaves Dante pretty much all alone on an island as the sole main character I liked in this book. Liv and Josh are great supporting characters.
I’m not a huge fan of lack of communication and Remi and Dante had this in spades, Remi more so than Dante. I understood, to a point, Remi’s hesitance to fully expose his feelings but I was still a bit frustrated with his refusal to just tell Dante how he felt.
The ending felt a bit rushed. Remi’s internal struggle lasted through most of the book and then bam, one phone call and he magically came up with the obvious solution that was staring him in the face the entire time, he executes the solution and we have our happily ever after.
So, I will sum up by saying I pretty much didn’t put this down once I picked it up because I really needed to see how it ended but it was a bit of a frustrating roller coaster to get to the HEA I’ve been waiting for and I didn’t like all the twists some of the characters took us on to get there but this is a must read after book one and for Gray fans.
I survive on avoidance. Physical pain to avoid the mental. Disposable flesh to avoid relationships. Work to avoid attachment.
My club became my empire of avoidance. Inside the ring millions are won and lost. The fight is confined to breaths, actions and reactions, fists and pain. Rules don’t exist. Only my opponent exists.
I’d been avoiding my needs for far too long when Remi stumbles into the Inferno and I’m hungry. The promise of a submissive with no attachment is far too tempting. I can’t resist him.
He was only supposed to be a distraction, but I know I’ll never get over him. There isn’t a chance in this clouded hell.
About the Author
Gray is a cynical Chicago native, who drinks coffee all day, barely sleeps, and is a little too fashion obsessed. He writes realistic and damaged characters because everyone deserves a happily ever after.